Dante in poster for HBO’s series, “Succession” (2019)

Image on wall is a painting entitled “Dante and Virgil” (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.  It appears to be the falsifiers of Inf. 30, Capocchio and Gianni Schicchi, in combat.

Contributed by Kristina Olson 

The original painting, currently held in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, below.

Australian Painter Garry Shead Finds Divine Inspiration in Dante

“Gregorian chants play softly and a curl of incense drifts high into the air at Garry Shead’s studio in Bundeena on the coast of the Royal National Park.

“For almost five months, Shead, one of Australia’s best-known figurative painters, has been grappling with a new series based on Dante Alighieri’s poem, The Divine Comedy. Invoking the spirit of the 700-year-old poet has been “terribly difficult”. He grimaces as he recalls stepping up to the blank canvas every morning, regardless of whether he felt like it or not.” […]    –Ali Gripper, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 12, 2014

 

“Wandering from the Straight Path of Clarity,” review of “The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists”

“You may feel, at times, as if you’ve been handed a map, and then told that the map may or may not be accurate, may or may not relate to anything in the real world, may or may not be entirely a fiction, or a random design concocted by some clever trickster to mislead you. That is how the title of a new show at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art — ‘The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists’ — relates to the work on view, by more than 40 artists from 18 African countries.

“The exhibition is shoehorned into spaces not quite big enough for anything to breathe comfortably, filling temporary galleries, stairwells and passage spaces on four floors of the mostly subterranean museum. The current exhibition, curated by Simon Njami, is slightly smaller than the original Dante exhibition he presented in Frankfurt last spring, but it still sprawls, both in its physical layout (the route through its various rooms requires careful navigation) and intellectually.

“Consider one of the best works in the show, a large-scale drawing by Julie Mehretu, in which a finely etched suggestion of architectural facades is overlaid with a storm of delicate lines, smudges and erasures. In the catalogue, published in conjunction with the Frankfurt display, her work is listed as belonging to the ‘Purgatory’ part of the presentation; in Washington, it is in the ‘Inferno’ room. It isn’t the only work to migrate from one celestial realm to another, and those migrations suggest that the basic template borrowed from Dante is not to be taken too seriously.” […]    –Phillip Kennicott, The Washington Post, April 17, 2015

See also our post on the first iteration of Njami’s exhibition, featured at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s museum.

“Where is Haven of Dante today?”

“Some years ago, I entered a contest put on my Platinum Studios which would award it’s winner a contract with their publishing arm. The property was what became the graphic novel, Haven. If you’re not familiar with the property, you can find out more by clicking here.

“I’ve told the story before about how it started out as a prose novel when Markosia Enterprises took notice of it and wanted to produce it as a graphic novel. But between the time I had written the treatment and the time Markosia took interest, I had entered it into the aforementioned contest. Unfortunately, it didn’t win but that’s OK. What I did win in the process was an awesome friendship that has lasted years with who was one of the top dogs of Platinum Studios at the time, Dan Forcey. If you don’t know Dan, he’s a Co-Producer of Cowboys & Aliens. Dan’s been an awesome source of encouragement for me over the years and loves the property.

“So do I.

“I’m not trying to sound like an egomaniac but like most writers I do pour out my heart and soul into a project so that it is relatable and has depth, purpose and in this case, history. The Dante’s history span centuries so this is a story that could go on forever. And there is still lots of story to tell. As with all new properties, it’s a tough sale….especially with a female protagonist. Don’t ask me why, you’d be preaching to the choir about that one.” […]    –Leonardo Ramirez, “Where is Haven of Dante today?,” Leonardoverse, August 2019

BioWare Animator Creates Gorgeous ‘Dante’s Inferno’ Short Film

“BioWare animator Tal Peleg released a new animated (NSFW) short film based on Visceral Games’ 2010 action title ‘Dante’s Inferno’ on Sunday.

“The game was loosely based on Dante Alighieri’s long narrative poem The Divine Comedy. But, it reimagines the poet as a Templar knight who goes on a bloody journey through the nine circles of Hell to rescue Beatrice from Lucifer.

“Peleg created his first ‘Dante’s Inferno’ fan fiction short four years ago. As a lover of both fantasy/medieval art and action-RPGs, he said in a recent behind-the-scenes blog post the game couldn’t have come out at a better time.” […]    –Stefanie Fogel, Variety, November 20, 2018

 

Made Goods Dante Buffet

“Aged leather and rounded edges are the hallmarks of our Dante collection, which adds an Art Moderne touch to any space. Metal legs and hardware finish off its classic, ’30s machine-age look. Slight differences in color and texture are characteristics of this collection’s aged leather.

“**Natural variations in this material may occur. Slight differences in color and texture are characteristics of this collection’s aged full-grain leather. This durable, high quality leather may show inherent markings, distressed appearance, and variations in pattern.**

“Finish: Aged Camel Full-Grain Leather (Shown), Storm Full-Grain Leather”    –Made Goods, Candelabra Inc., July 26, 2019

Galway 2020: Poet Rita Ann Higgins compares it to Dante’s Inferno

“Galway poet Rita Ann Higgins has said her city has left it ‘too late’ to appoint a new artistic director for its controversial European capital of culture 2020 project, and should set up a team of artists to provide a creative lead instead.

“Ms Higgins, who is a member of Aosdána, has also called on the Galway 2020 board to ‘take the project by the scruff of the neck and come out fighting.’

“The poet has compared the project’s current state to the nine circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno in a new piece of work she has published this week.

“The poem, entitled ‘Capital of Cock-a-Leekie Inferno (9 circles of 2020 Hell)’, tracks the course of the project since Galway secured the European capital of culture designation in 2016, and focuses on recent funding cuts to artistic groups accepted for the bid book.” […]    –Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, October 17, 2018

Alfredo Jaar, “The Divine Comedy” (2019)

“A new tunnel, named Siloam, is an AUD$27M (£15m) underground extension to David Walsh’s privately owned MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart, Tasmania. The complex of chambers, gallery spaces and connecting tunnels of Siloam feature works by Ai Weiwei, Oliver Beer and Christopher Townend but the centrepiece is a new commission by Alfredo Jaar.

Jaar’s immersive installation The Divine Comedy (2019), is a three-room installation based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Visitors enter—ten at a time—into three pavilions interpreting each of the realms of the 14th-century epic poem. They will encounter fire and flood in Inferno; hover between life and death with a film by the US artist Joan Jonas in Purgatorio; and, finally, simply exist in the sensory void of Paradiso.”    –Tim Stone, The Art Newspaper, July 18, 2019

Why Dante’s Inferno Stays Relevant After 700 Years

“The 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri couldn’t have foreseen contemporary forms of hideous, malicious behavior—the Holocaust, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, genocide committed by ISIS.

“Yet, Dante’s nearly 700-year-old, three-part epic poem, the Divine Comedy—of which Inferno is the initial part—remains an influential piece of literature in exploring the origins of evil.

“Dante’s work has influenced or inspired music, novels, films, mobile apps, and even video games. Medieval manuscript illuminators and artists, including Sandro Botticelli and Salvador Dalí, have produced paintings mirroring stories Dante told. Most recently, Dante’s work was adapted for the crime and mystery film Inferno, starring Tom Hanks.

“When you have an actor like Tom Hanks starring in a movie adapted from best-selling novelist Dan Brown, you’re bound to get more questions about Dante than usual,” says Fabian Alfie, a professor in the University of Arizona department of French and Italian.

“But interest in Dante has never waned in the 700 years since he died,” Alfie says. “There is an unbroken tradition of Dante’s influence in Western culture since the 14th century. Dante has never stopped being popular because his poem deals with questions that are always relevant.”

“Ultimately, Alfie says, Dante was attempting to address the “big questions” associated with being: “What is evil? What is human nature? What is redemption, goodness, sanctity?” […]   –Monica Everett-Haynes, University of Arizona, Futurity, November 17, 2016

Mapping Dante’s Inferno, One Circle of Hell at a Time

“I found myself, in truth, on the brink of the valley of the sad abyss that gathers the thunder of an infinite howling. It was so dark, and deep, and clouded, that I could see nothing by staring into its depths.”

“This is the vision that greets the author and narrator upon entry the first circle of Hell—Limbo, home to honorable pagans—in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, the first part of his 14th-century epic poem, Divine Comedy. Before Dante and his guide, the classical poet Virgil, encounter Purgatorio and Paradiso, they must first journey through a multilayered hellscape of sinners—from the lustful and gluttonous of the early circles to the heretics and traitors that dwell below. This first leg of their journey culminates, at Earth’s very core, with Satan, encased in ice up to his waist, eternally gnawing on Judas, Brutus, and Cassius (traitors to God) in his three mouths. In addition to being among the greatest Italian literary works, Divine Comedy also heralded a craze for “infernal cartography,” or mapping the Hell that Dante had created.

“This desire to chart the landscape of Hell began with Antonio Manetti, a 15th-century Florentine (like Dante himself) architect and mathematician. He diligently worked on the “site, form and measurements” of Hell, assessing, for example, the width of Limbo—87.5 miles across, he calculated. There are several theories for why it was so important then to delineate Dante’s Hell, including the general popularity of cartography at the time and the Renaissance obsession with proportions and measurements.” […]    –Anika Burgess, Atlas Obscura, July 13, 2017